INDEPENDENT VOICES FOR BETTER EDUCATION, INC.
1. IVBE supports enabling parents/families to choose the public or private schools that best serve the needs of their children. We ask the Legislature to do this because the only remedy for the broken education system is to adopt a “free market” approach, prohibiting racial, ethnic and religious discrimination, and ensuring safety to life. A system of accountability for student achievement must accompany any plan.
2. Instructional Personnel” must be redefined as those who teach full class loads 90% of their typical employment day as per the terms of their contracts. or instructional support personnel such as library media specialists and guidance counselors (which is current state law).Teachers on Special Assignment must be reassigned to full classroom duty.
3. Districts must have no more than 3% classified as “administrators.” Administrators must be defined as employees, excluding clerical, maintenance and cafeteria workers, bus drivers, etc., who do not teach a full class load 90% of the typical employment day. It must include “Educational Specialists,” “Curriculum Specialists” and other similar classifications.
4. Florida needs a new paradigm for evaluations. Representatives from the public should be included in the task force that discusses this issue.
5. Bonuses mandated under any plan must be calculated and awarded based only on the number of students per school who are actually counted to compute the school grades. Our research, as well as media reports, show that less than half the students in some districts have been counted towards the grades. This explains why schools with high state ratings cannot qualify as having made adequate yearly progress under the Federal No Child Left Behind Act.
6. All DROP must be discontinued.
7. Identify and guarantee a source of revenue for higher teachers’ salaries that shall be placed in a secure Trust Fund. The quid-pro-quo must be revisions to employment contracts.
8. Prohibit districts from using tax dollars to subsidize dues collection or any other activities of groups, with the exception of not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organizations.
9. Curricula review and selection committees at school, district and state levels must be constituted of 50% peer-elected, non-employee parents/guardians/community representatives.
10. A cap must be placed on the fees charged by charter school management companies. Additionally, when audits of charter schools reveal operational deficits, the state must monitor and, if necessary, take over operation until the deficits are eliminated.
11. Transition services must be provided to eligible ESE students as per IDEA, with penalties for non-compliance.
12. Audits of social services (501(c)(3)) funded with school district funds must be mandated to determine administrative costs, actual services given and ratio of clients to staff. Administrators must be defined as anyone not having direct, consistent contact with clients to provide counseling or other services described in the agency’s mission.
13. To promote and enhance literacy, all schools should have a library media center staffed full-time by a certified library me